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The Kingdom Reviews

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John M

Super Reviewer

March 2, 2008
A Great action movie thriller. The ending is so true . . if you dont get it than maybe you missed the point of the movie.

Super Reviewer

August 12, 2011
Following a deadly attack on American forces in Riyadh, Saudia Arabia, a group of elite FBI forces are dispatched to investigate the case, and take care of the perpetrators along with help from their Saudi counterparts.

Due to bureaucratic red tape and a delicate political situation, the team have only a few days to accomplish their mission. To add to the tension, the Americans aren't exactly welcome, they had to manipulate their way into the case, and they have to operate in a strange environment with customs and a culture pretty different from their own.

This is a pretty ambitious film. It tries to be a heavy political drama, investigative/procedural thriller, and a slam bang action film all in one. Somehow it manages to be all of these. It starts out as trying to be like Syriana then turns into a thrilling actioner, but I was okay with this.

The film is decently paced, adds a bit of depth and proves to be quite suspenseful, thrilling, and entertaining. I think what also helps is that the film isn't overtly one sided in its politics, and avoids being a propaganda piece. And, while Al-Qaeda are the villains, the film manages to be fairly sensible in its portrayal of Arabs, featuring some sensible and fairly realistic characters.

We get an all star cast here, with the main team being played by Jaime Foxx, Chris Cooper, Jennifer Garner, and Jason Bateman. They all seem to have decent chemistry with one another, and pull off some fine performances. Filling out supporting roles we get the likes of Jeremy Piven, Kyle Chandler, Danny Huston, and Richard Jenkins. These people likewise do a decent job, though the main focus is on the main FBI team as well as their Arab counterparts. I'm not familiar with any of the Arab performers, but they're also pretty good.

The film really changes pace when it turns into a series of spectacle driven action set pieces, but I thought it was cool. The freeway scene is well done, quite suspenseful, and pretty neat since it's a rare chance to see a Hollywood style car chase/crash through Riyadh. The apartment shootout is also pretty gripping.

All in all, this is an interesting, fun, and mildly brainy action movie that I think is definitely worth your time.
Albert K

Super Reviewer

September 18, 2010
An empty movie with a message that delivers with nothing backing it up except for one shocking scene. However, the action scenes in this movie are top-notch.
Phil H

Super Reviewer

October 5, 2007
This is a good well made film but its one hot potatoe, almost all of it is just talking and FBI proceedures...very dull, but the last 20mins is fast gun filled action, which is very cool but totally Hollywood.

The problem is the film is like a computer game and brainwashes viewers into thinking all Middle Eastern people are bomb making terrorists. The main characters in the end go around shooting anything wearing a shroud, more than once, and making it very clear its god bless America and the US are invincible stomping machines. The film actually makes you want the heroes to kill muslims...not good, its very clear who the goodies are here, a very incorrect film at its source.
Joe M

Super Reviewer

October 22, 2011
This movie was just average up until the last ten seconds when they played the "we're terrorists to them so they're terrorists to us" card.

Super Reviewer

September 18, 2011
Peter Berg's The Kingdom is one of the most intense action films dealing with terrorism. Berg has got a terrific cast at his disposal and he delivers a film with flair and intrigue. The Kingdom is not a perfect film, but it does manage to be quite entertaining. The cast are good considering,. And I loved Chris Cooper (who is one of my favorite actors) in this film. Peter Berg has a tense, thrilling film that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Everyone in this film delivered good performances, and it was a very well made film. The plot was interesting and what was interesting about the plot, is that in some areas, especially the ending, it showed the thoughts of sides, the point of view of the American, and the point of view of the Arab extremists. There are also some good dramatic elements thrown into the story to make the film feel more realistic. I thought that this was one of the better films directed by Peter Berg. The Kingdom is a wonderful action film with touches of drama. The film is enthralling and intense. The attack at the start of the film is chilling and definitely makes you feel uneasy. For what it is, The Kingdom is a well plotted film that delivers a good story with good acting. This is a film that will definitely appeal to action fans everywhere, and is very different from most action film. A must see.

Super Reviewer

April 24, 2011
A genius story and acting make this a solid war film. Jamie Foxx and his costars are just generally likeable, and that made me root for them. The story is great because you never know who the traitors are, or whats gonna happen next. The music was really good and made the film intense. The camera was a little shaky but thats a minor problem. The gun fights were really well done and nice. So my main problem was the camera, other than that this is a real intense and great movie.
Stuart B

Super Reviewer

December 30, 2007
Action packed and well acted, one of the best Terrorist movies out there.
Richard C

Super Reviewer

July 21, 2010

Super Reviewer

February 4, 2010
This was an adrenaline pumping movie from start to finish! Jamie Foxx gives a defining performance!
Conner R

Super Reviewer

January 25, 2010
I was just really unimpressed with this, there wasn't anything for me to really find intriguing. Nothing was really above average, even the plot was just dull. It looks very much like a Michael Mann film, maybe if he just would've directed it then it could've gone somewhere.

Super Reviewer

October 22, 2007
this is a powerful and haunting film. it started a little slow but the final 30 minutes is heart pounding, and the message of the film was profound. character development is important in film and this movie had relatively none to the point that the characters barely mattered. it would have been good to care somewhat about the characters, but ultimately the point was about the state of affairs in the world. the final 30 seconds are heartbreaking.
Anthony L

Super Reviewer

September 30, 2009
It felt like just another action/war film for the first half, I was still watching but I was a little disappointed in the preachy and one sided politics. So I was very happy and surprised at the end. That last line was fantastic, it really made the film for me!
Emile T

Super Reviewer

September 26, 2007
Very good, and very Michael Mann-ish, plus an interesting realistic side of the terrorism. Very entertaining.

If you are careful, you'll see that the ending is quite troubling.
Aaron N

Super Reviewer

January 15, 2007
[before breaking open a door in terrorist apartment]
Ronald Fleury: Which side do you think Allah's on?
Colonel Faris Al Ghazi: We are about to find out!

A well made crime drama taking place in Saudi Arabia, with some great action and a little political drama thrown in. Its basically a better made CSI espisode, taking place in the middle east with some hand held camera gun play at work and succeeding.

After a terrorist attack takes place within Saudi Arabia, the Kingdom, involving the deaths of many, including a few FBI agents, an FBI Special Agent played by Jamie Foxx goes through some lengths to get himself and three other agents into the country, to investigate the bombings themselves.

Ronald Fleury: I want in immediately.
Prince Thamer: Define immediately.
Ronald Fleury: Right the fuck now immediately.

Among the team are Chris Cooper as the wise older member who knows his bombs, Jason Bateman as the smarmy younger agent, and Jennifer Garner, a fellow agent who was married to one of the victims.

There mission leads them to an officer in the Saudi police played by Ashraf Barhom. He is a man who believes in his country, and while at first doesn't want the help of the US, develops as a more open individual, who knows everyone wants to do their job and get justice, he's actually the best character in this movie, giving the best performance and having the most personality.

Colonel Faris Al Ghazi: I'm forty-two years old. I have two daughters and a son. Beautiful son. And I find myself in a place where I no longer care about why we are attacked. I only care that one hundred people woke up a few mornings ago, and had no idea it was their last. When we catch the man who murdered these people, I don't care to ask even one question. I want to kill him. Do you understand?
Ronald Fleury: Yes, I do.

Jeremy Piven also has a small role as a US representative, who wants to do everything he can to make the US team look good, then get them the hell out of there. Other small roles include Richard Jenkins in an effective role as the head FBI guy back in the US, Kyle Chandler, and Danny Huston.

Despite the action heavy trailer, this movie is very much about being a detective story, given an upgrade by having a team of FBI agents investigating a sun dried town and the bad guys being terrorists. It is also has a good buddy movie element between Foxx and Ashraf Barhom's Saudi officer.

The real action doesn't kick in till the last half hour, but when it does, it is handled well. This movie gets the Michael Mann seal of approval for having a gritty approach that is not over done, is not too technical, but looks damn great on the big screen.

Director Peter Berg does a good job letting the movie take its time to develop the issues and characters, before leading to its frantic finale. I am actually quite enjoying the diversive genre work of this director, who even pops up for a small role early on.

While the plot may be wrapped up a little easily, this is a well made picture, that does good work with the little moments along with the bigger stuff. The movie also should be sold as something that should enlighten you on Saudi tradition, however there is an opening credit sequence that does a very good job at updating the viewer on some Saudi history.

[After a brief scuffle in which Fleury defends Haytham]
Haytham: Are you alright?
Fleury: No, are you alright? Your the one that got slapped.
Dan S

Super Reviewer

October 11, 2007
An intense, realistic portrayal of the ongoing violence in the Middle East, and how people sent usually get caught in the crossfire. Well acted, and well scripted, with a dynamite ending that is loaded with tension. A solid thriller that deserves to be seen.
Coxxie M

Super Reviewer

June 6, 2009
oh wow Jennifer Garner is SUCH a great actress, she has a huge variety of emotions! and she displays them all with one simple, confused, botoxed expression.

Super Reviewer

October 8, 2007
i bloody love this movie its one of my favourite theres been so many film makers directing war time movies best on iraq and afhanistan but this doesnt disappoint its completely action packed with humour and some really good camera work with a sad ending soo worth a watch id recommend it to everyone and anyone
Edward B

Super Reviewer

September 28, 2007
Very average thriller that is only marginally elevated by some political nuances. Everything from character development to plot twists comes off extremely contrived. Cool shootout at the end though, but will someone please get these people a steadicam.
Jens S

Super Reviewer

September 27, 2007
A rather fair, intelligent and unbiased take on the problem of dealing with Islamic terror attacks, that has more shades of gray to offer than just black and white. The feeling of threat and hostility the FBI team encounters in Saudi Arabia when investigating a terror attack is countered by a very likable Arabic police chief that develops a really interesting relationship to Jamie Foxx' character. After an hour of detailed investigations and political details the movie carries you into a menacing, spectacular and breathtaking action showdown, one of the most exciting ones of recent years. The solution to it and especially the last scene and final statement of the movie are of such power and tremendous truth that it leaves you with a sick feeling in your stomach. One of the best takes on this issue so far, with all around great acting performances. Highly recommended.
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